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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Background

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Many people with PTSD repeatedly re-experience the ordeal in the form of flashback episodes, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects reminiscent of the trauma. People with PTSD also experience emotional numbness and sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and irritability or outbursts of anger. Feelings of intense guilt are also common. Physical symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal distress, immune system problems, dizziness, chest pain, or discomfort in other parts of the body are common in people with PTSD.

In 2004, the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) developed a clinical practice guideline designed to assist primary care providers in an ambulatory care setting evaluate and manage patients with PTSD. The guideline was revised in 2010: VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Post Traumatic Stress, Oct 10. The PTSD CPG is one of the supporting guidelines for the DoD/VA Clinical Practice Guideline for Post-Deployment Health Evaluation and Management (PDH-CPG), Dec 01, which was developed to assist primary care providers in evaluating and providing care for individuals with potentially deployment-related health concerns and conditions.

The DoD Deployment Health Clinical Center has developed an intensive, three-week, multi-disciplinary treatment program, The Specialized Care Program (SCP) Track II, for service members experiencing PTSD or difficulties re-adjusting to life upon redeployment after service in OEF/OIF. The SCP is for patients who have had other treatments for PTSD (or perhaps depression) but continue to experience symptoms that interfere with functioning. It is also for patients who have no other treatment available to them.

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Clinical Guidance

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Policies and Directives

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Implementation Guidelines

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Implementation Tools

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Other Related Information

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Education and Training

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Research

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Related Links

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